Electronic Arts celebrates the Modern Warfare 3 beta by making Battlefield 2042 free to play this weekend

The Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 beta kicks off in earnest this weekend, and if for some reason you want to play a different modern military shooter, Electronic Arts is here to help with a free weekend of Battlefield 2042.

Battlefield 2042 is a little more futuristic than Modern Warfare 3, but the relentless march of time puts 2042 less than 20 years from now—that's closer than the release date of the original Call of Duty, in case you were looking for a reason to feel old. In my books, that puts it in the same general wheelhouse: I think Price and the gang would be right at home running around inside EA's take on the genre.

Here's something else to consider: Battlefield 2042 is really good now. The Battlefield series has always lived in the shadow of Call of Duty, and as much as we liked BF2042, it really did nothing to step out of it. Worse, quite a few dedicated fans weren't thrilled with some of the changes it made to well-established Battlefield features, like removing the scoreboard (it's back now) and replacing the usual class structure with a roster of specialists. (They're back too, btw.) But while there was some speculation that EA would let the game wither and die, it has done the opposite: Significant updates and reworks since launch have turned things around, and more than a year after launch, Battlefield 2042 finally hit its stride.

Does that mean EA is going to spoil MW3's big coming out party? I suspect not. Modern Warfare 3 may not be quite the expansive, all-new sequel that fans were hoping for, but the series remains a juggernaut, and Activision would have to biff it pretty hard—I mean, really hard—before it was at risk of being overshadowed during the traditional "everyone gets to play for free" beta test weekend. I do respect the spoiler hustle, though.

The Battlefield 2042 free weekend is live now on Steam (and consoles, if that's what you're into) and runs until 10 am PT/1 pm ET on October 16.

(Image credit: Electronic Arts)
Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.